Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci to yield helm to Amanda Bardwell in September

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Brad Banducci

21st February 2024 – (Sydney) Woolworths Group, Australia’s leading grocery chain, announced on Wednesday a significant leadership transition with Brad Banducci set to vacate his position as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in September. Banducci, who has been integral to Woolworths for 13 years and led as CEO for over eight of those years, is preparing to pass the baton to Amanda Bardwell.

The change of guard is timed to coincide with the publication of the Group’s financial results for 2024, with Bardwell expected to assume her new responsibilities on the first of September. Banducci reflected on his tenure with Woolworths as an honour and expressed confidence in his successor, Bardwell, whom he praised for her talent and passion.

Banducci’s departure follows a recent contentious interview on television where he faced pointed questions about the dominance of a few major players within Australia’s supermarket sector. The country’s grocery market is significantly concentrated, with Woolworths and its closest competitor, Coles, accounting for a 65% share, a point of contention highlighted by the national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Amidst growing scrutiny, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has initiated a comprehensive inquiry, set to last a year, to evaluate the state of competition within the sector. This inquiry comes a decade and a half after the previous review, signalling a renewed regulatory focus on the dynamics of the market. ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh articulated the inquiry’s goal to dissect the competitive landscape, identifying any hurdles to increased competition and market entry.